Sunday, February 8, 2015

Musings from the Recliner - Day 1

Out! Sprung! Paroled! Free and Clear!  The docs decided to let me go today, and by late afternoon I’d made it home.  I drove myself there and, with no narcotics in my system at the time, I could also drive myself home.  The trip home was not without a little drama, mind you, but I got home safe and sound none-the-less. 

I’m tired, but doing better.  There are vestiges of the offending cough left, but it’s not a constant thing anymore as long as I'm mostly quiet.  Some of the meds have temporary weakened my voice and I’ve got a kind a sing-song whisper-thing going on.  That will likely be with me for a few weeks.  I’ve got bruises at my IV site, bruises at my “lab draw” site on the other arm, and bruises on my belly where the blood thinner stuff went in.  “Blood thinner stuff” – Lovenox, I think.  Normally I try to be a knowledgeable patient and know every last little thing I’m getting by medical name, along with what it does.  I’m sure I heard them all, but I was on a LOT of stuff.  The nurses and aids were quite efficient and when ‘service’ time came it was kind of like the NASCAR pit crew coming over the wall: BP, temp, O2 level, inject, more IV bags, pills, “Squeeze my fingers”, “Take deep breaths now”, “Can I get you anything?”, ”Get some rest!” (See my Friday “View from the Hospital Bed” for the straight skinny on rest in the hospital.) They did take so good care of me.

I’m looking forward to a night without vitals, labs, injections, therapies, and an IV power-filling me up and urging me into an IV tree ‘skip to my loo’ waltz (I know, I know, “Skip to my Loo” is not a waltz, but I’m trying to be a little genteel here. Just go with the mental the picture.) every 90 minutes.  I think that will go a long ways towards catching me up on sleep.

Normally, it would have been a 30 minute drive home plus the time at the pharmacy to get my meds.  Alas, it was far harder than it needed to be.  I could tell when I got back to the pharmacy counter the folks were having a bad day, it was very busy, they were a more that a bit surly with a current customer, and I’m one more schmuck with a big stack of scripts that need to be filled before I leave the store.  One Rx – naturally, it was the one for the narcotic – was not written quite correctly. Close, very, very close, but not perfect.  Not their fault, but they weren’t in a mood to help me get it worked out.  “You’ll have to take this one back to the hospital.”  I’m getting a bit worn down, but I did. 

The nurses were appalled I get sent back but filled in a little more info, and apologizing for the error, sent me on my way. At the pharmacy the same crew, still savoring their ‘mood’, looked over the paper.  Still not right, “Take it back!” This time I got an accompanying rant from the pharmacist himself about how the DEA was going to put all our butts in jail if he even tried to do anything with this.  So I did. 

Time out for a mother-in-law story: Hang in there, it fits. When one of the family wasn’t feeling so well the comment from Mom was, “You look like you’re not feeling very well.”  All fine and appropriate.  If it was obvious you were feeling really rough it was, “You look you’ve been dragged through a sick cow backwards!”  Now if you really weren’t all that bad off before, listening to that little description alone was enough to get you there.  (End of detour.)

By this time I was starting to look like, well, I’d been ‘dragged through a sick cow backwards’ and the nurses at the hospital got fired up.  One of them picked up the phone to the pharmacy and by the time she was done I started to feel a little bad for the ranting pharmacist. She made a small change to the script and I was on my way, hoping the third time was the charm.

When I got there the first surly pharmacy tech was quietly working away on someone else’s order, the pharmacist came over as soon as I walked up to look things over and, with his blessing, the paper was whisked off to the front of the cue.  10 minutes later I’m finally on my way home.

So here I sit, comfortable in my recliner, very glad to be home.  I thank God for modern medicine, caring nurses, and even surly pharmacists.  It’s good to be home and I feel blessed to be here. 

Col. 1:9-12,



  1. What you had to endure at the pharmacy is a little unbelievable. I know they have to be very careful, but you would have thought they could have called the hospital and gotten it straightened out without dragging you through a sick cow backwards! (I've got to remember that one.) You're a good writer, Mark, and I think are keeping us all well amused through this medical episode of yours. Now continue to be a good boy and get well fast. Being home will contribute to that, I'm sure!

  2. I echo Mama Pea--it's ridiculous that they didn't CALL the hospital.
    Glad you FINALLY got home ---hope you are on the road to health, though with all the running around you had to do, that might be a bit tough!

  3. Mama Pea - I think if it was anything but the narcotic they would have just called and it would have been fine. As is was it had to be on the original paper, but as the nurse pointed out the pharmacist, with no contact between the pharmacy and the hospital I could have gone out to my car, written myself 6 months worth of prescription narcotic doses, and came back in with the paper looking fine. A call the first time would have been the way to go.

    Sue - I was a tired pup by the time I got home, but I'm doing much better today. A quiet night in my own bed was a beautiful thing!